Advertising into the college demographic is certainly an ongoing and overwhelming process.
Whilst traditional media has always been embraced by various small business owners as their major marketing arsenal, the upswing in mobile usage and the growth of social media has unlocked the portals for marketers to cheaply reach their market through brand-new methods of engagement.
United States alone has a staggering number of more or less 30 million college students — tech savvy and trendsetters who devote an ample time together when compared to most other professional or social groups.
Putting it into perspective, generation Y is now considered to be the largest consumer group in the entire US history.
Marketers all over the country may think of keg stands, slim wallets, and spring breaks when they tend to hear the term “students”.
Too often, college students are most often treated as a little segment. Yet their spending is seen to surpass $30 billion and a study from Boston Consulting Group stated that various industries that don’t reach out to millennials today, may miss the boat entirely.
Indeed, we got a huge audience with distinct needs and firm solid purchasing power.
Now, how can you do better than most marketer to these particular demographic?
Take a look at the following considerations.
Learn How To Properly Do Segmentation
Prior to anything else, divide your consumers and classify which ones attend college.
Only by having such information can your marketing effort become truly efficient.
Using such information, you may be able to change the message, send appropriate emails, create better college landing pages and some design campaigns that tend to look like they are really meant for college students.
Acknowledge That You Are No Longer Young
Admittedly, great decision makers are a little too old or let’s say a bit disconnected to have a thorough understanding of the student demographic.
Having your son or daughter attending college isn’t even an excuse.
But, being older than most college students is fine, so long as you do not try to pretend to speak their language, comprehend their tastes, or command them what to do.
Keep Things Easy, Have Someone Young Do The Job
Common and short courtesy, to-the-point communication beat trying to be hip.
Most age groups love and respect brands that are true to themselves.
If you have the extra budget, then hire someone who’s using SnapChat and who uses Twitter with helpful hashtags.
If you don’t have the amount, how about having an intern who could give you essential insights?
Give Genuine Incentives
Apple is known for providing deep discounts for students on its products.
Amazon offers a free prime subscription to students.
However, offering discounts is not your sole option. You can go on for raffles or some freebies, whatever your differentiators for the student segments are, just make sure they include genuine incentives.
Make Use of Targeted Marketing
You would want to create distinct landing pages, unique email marketing strategies, updated social media accounts and some mobile applications to enable you efficiently segment your messages.
Make sure to have your unique value proposition presented in a channel or platform specifically dedicated to students.
Various brands tend to choose giving college students B Brands.
This left us wondering why are these brands aren’t seeing what Apple sees?
Apple has been enjoying incredible success out of its great product designs, intelligent marketing strategies and tough product line.
It has gone far from a college students market share to more than 35% from the last year and note, this number is continually growing.
With a clear understanding of the value of college market, Apple seems to win the heart of the students.
According to the recent study conducted by Forbes and Student Monitor, most students that plan to buy a new computer, nearly 50% said they are willing to purchase a Mac. This is indeed but a staggering number.
This noble company is married to the idea that today’s savvy students are our tomorrow’s greatest entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors, teachers and so on.
Apple seems to understand the underlying importance of differentiation in price; it gives students incentives thru separate channel, The Apple Store for Education.
Certainly, if a particular product is accurate and the apparent benefit is greater than the cost, the budget of students suddenly becomes elastic.
Macintosh computers and other products are indubitably more expensive than the others, yet it now has a bigger market.
Were you able to see Coca-Cola’s advert about the “Friendly Twist”?
It is a fun campaign that is absolutely innovative and plays well on Coca-Cola’s promise of happiness and sharing.
Coca-Cola is a company that puts a great emphasis into their marketing strategies, and for years, it has done really well.
They were able to get people speaking about them and their excellent marketing ideas. Isn’t it what marketing is all about?
Coca-Cola is a huge brand, and there’s a lot to learn from them, especially in communicating to the different demographic of consumers.
In this ad, the twist cap that can only be opened by another bottle emphasizes the happiness and sharing the message of Coca-Cola.
This is a tactic that may not only bring people together, it may surely leave a lasting impression for those who are able to experience it.
With almost 10 million views on YouTube and countless shares on various social platforms including Facebook and twitter, the creativity of the ad provides Coca-Cola a compelling reason to remain strong in the eyes of its college consumers.
Finally, are you able to connect with the connected?
They have money and the freedom in picking brands that will lead them into college and even into adulthood.
Fascinate them now, or risk missing out on the succeeding generation of college-informed strong-consumers.